Guyanese lulled into false sense of security regarding AML/CFT legislation- Jagdeo
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo says Guyanese cannot be lulled into a false sense of security as it relates to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Legislation (AML/CFT), since this would put several sectors of the economy in jeopardy.
Mr. Jagdeo, making reference to a speech made by Attorney General, Basil Williams in the National Assembly regarding Guyana’s fourth round of assessment by the Financial Action Task Force says this leaves much to be desired. According to Jagdeo it reveals that there is still reason for the Business community and Guyanese to be fearful, since a lot more work needs to be done to ensure the country is on par with the international AML/CFT regime.
Jagdeo who was speaking during a press conference on Thursday said the AG conveyed the impression that the country had exited the FATF Review. Pointing to this other round of review, the Opposition Leader expressed the view that this could have been avoided had the Government, while it was in opposition supported the PPP administration with the amendments it had proposed for the legislation, which at the time was deemed CFATF compliant.
According to Jagdeo, the country runs the risk, in an attempt by the Government to score political points, of jeopardizing this very critical sector. He said this is even worst given the trend towards de-risking, where large financial institutions are cutting corresponding banking relations with many countries in the developing world.
Jagdeo said this fourth round of review will now require the Coalition Government to go after actual cases, noting that this is where the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) will have to play its part.